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Information on TVET in Denmark

Basic Vocational Education and Training (EGU)

EGU is an individualised basic vocational education and training programme that is geared towards both employment and continued education.

EGU is an alternating or sandwich-type training programme where practical training is combined with a subject-relevant school-based part in an overall 1½-3 year programme in which the school-based part lasts between 20 to 40 weeks.

The school-based elements are taken from a number of existing education and training programmes.

Objective

The objective of EGU is for the pupils to achieve personal, social and professional qualifications that both admit them to one of the other education and training programmes leading to a professional qualification, and provide a basis for employment. The programme and the competence aimed at, within a professional sector are described in the EGU pupil’s personal education plan.

Target group

The EGU Act describes the target group as persons under the age of 30 living in the municipality who are neither receiving education (including not in a production school programme either) nor have a job; and do not have the preconditions for completing another qualifying youth education.

The young people in question, are typically, practically oriented who are often with weak educational background, and are not very academically inclined.

Number of pupils

The annual intake to EGU is usually, approximately 700 pupils (2007). A radical increase in activity is expected, as from 15 August 2007, all the municipalities are obliged to offer EGU to the target group.

Structure and length

Each time an EGU plan is signed, in principle a new individual educational programme is established that is adapted to the individual young person’s qualifications, wishes and needs. An EGU plan can thus be freely drawn up within a frame of up to three years, with between 20 and 40 weeks at school wherein school and practical training can alternate in the course of a week.

Content

On the basis of the professional competence aimed at, for the pupil, the EGU plan describes the practical training and school-based parts included in the programme. Practical training can take place within the whole of the private and public labour market, The EGU supervisor responsible, must ensure that the required professional competence is achieved. Examinations are held, if they are on the programme for the educational elements that make up the pupil’s EGU.

EGU pupils are typically trained for an assistant function within a particular line of industry. When the EGU has been completed and the pupils have gained employment and educational competencies, as well as graduate rights, they can become members of an unemployment fund. Thus, an EGU plan is to ensure that pupils actually are prepared for the labour market when they have completed their EGU.

Practical training

The EGU plan must ensure that the places offering training are sufficiently qualified to be able to live up to the objective of EGU practical training. Practical training places are very largely made available by enterprises that cannot be approved for Vocational Education and Training (VET).

The school-based part

The school-based elements in an EGU plan can be taken from a great number of educational areas including vocational education and training programmes, adult vocational training, social and health care training programmes, production schools, day high schools, full-time teaching at youth schools, adult education centres etc. An agreement can be entered into, in order to organise the teaching on the basis of the individual pupils’ needs, if necessary with a supplementary grant.

Admission requirements

The municipalities are required to establish EGU for the target group. Vocational and production schools can enter into an agreement to organise EGU on behalf of the municipality.

Transition

The majority of EGU pupils go on to seek employment or a vocational training programme when they have completed their EGU, or in circumstances when their education is interrupted with a view to continued education or training.

”Positive” interruption as a success criterion

It is a special feature of EGU, that if, during the course of the EGU programme, it is assessed that the pupil has achieved the prerequisites for, and the will, to go on to an education and training programme in a qualified manner, or to achieve permanent employment, it may be appropriate to discontinue the EGU plan. If they continue to post-compulsory education, the pupils must have credits for the school-based parts they have completed.

Supervision and quality assurance

The unit responsible for the individual education and training elements in the pupil’s EGU agreement has responsibility for the quality. The supervision is similarly located, depending on the educational provider involved. If this is a vocational college, the Ministry of Education is the supervising authority.

Financing

During the school-based part of the programme, EGU pupils receive a weekly school allowance. In 2007 this allowance amounted to DKK 555 for the under-18 year olds and DKK 1,329 for young people over the age of 18. During practical training, the pupils receive ordinary trainee wages, which take a starting point in the first year’s wages in the vocational education and training programmes (approx. DKK 8000 a month). School-based teaching is ordinarily financed pursuant to the legislation governing the educational elements that are included in the education programme. The municipality can provide supplementary grants etc. for the teaching.

The municipalities’ expenditure for EGU purposes is financed through the municipal block grant scheme, i.e. the general transfer of funds from the state to the municipalities.

The municipalities themselves finance the appointment of persons in charge of EGU. The production schools and vocational colleges receive grants to establish, administer and implement EGU plans.

Credits

It is stated in the EGU Act that the EGU pupil’s personal education plan has to indicate the anticipated award of credit for school-based teaching and/or practical training when the pupil continues in education and training.

Guidance

EGU may be characterised as a guided intensive programme considering the target group. Close personal and social support and follow up of the individual pupil, in both the school-based part and the practical training, is often a precondition for the programme being a success for the pupil. An EGU guidance counsellor often has a mentor role in relation to the individual EGU pupil.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

The Danish vocational education and training programmes (I-VET) are alternating or sandwich-type programmes, where practical training in a company alternates with teaching at a vocational college.

The programmes consist of a basic and a main programme. The student must enter into a training agreement with a company approved by the social partners (a confederation of representatives of employers and employees) in order to accomplish the main programme. There are approximately 125 vocational education and training programmes (2007), each of which can lead to a number of vocational specialisations. The social partners have considerable influence on and thus, great responsibility for VET.


VET’s Objective and target group

The objective of vocational education and training programmes is to motivate young people to complete a programme of training that can qualify them for employment and at the same time, accommodate the needs of the labour market. The programmes aim to give the young people a taste of further education and active participation in society by developing the students’ personal and social skills like instilling a spirit of independence and cooperation, and stimulating their awareness about innovation, environment and internationalisation.

Those who have completed VET can immediately work within the line of industry or trade that is the focus of the programme. The target group of vocational education and training programmes are not only students who come directly after obtaining basic school education, but also adults

with prior vocational experience.

Number of students and educational capacity

57 percent of youth cohort is admitted to a VET. A declining share of these comes directly from compulsory education in “Folkeskolen” (primary and lower secondary education) while a number of participants are admitted after having been in the labour market. Growing shares are admitted after having completed a general or vocational upper secondary education.

Approximately, 38 percent of a youth cohort obtains a vocational education. Of these, around 33 percent normally have the vocational education as their highest completed education, while the remaining 5 percent usually take higher education subsequently.

About 56,500 students commence a full-time vocational education every year whereas the total number of students in vocational education and training programmes is approximately 130,000 at any given time.

The colleges

117 institutions offer basic vocationally oriented education programmes. 97 of these are technical colleges, commercial colleges, agricultural colleges or combination colleges. In addition, 20 colleges offer social and health care training programmes. A number of the colleges offer their programmes through local branches at addresses other than the main college. These branches are not included in the report.

In addition to the basic vocational education and training programmes, the colleges also offer other education programmes: vocational upper secondary education (the Higher Commercial Examination –HHX, and the Higher Technical examination -HTX) and further education and training for adults (C-VET called AMU – Adult Vocational Training). Most of the vocational colleges cooperate with other colleges to offer short-term higher education. Further, the colleges also offer courses and programmes commissioned by companies.

The education and training programme, which have a small intake, are conducted at trade schools, which cover a whole region. In these cases the colleges have boarding facilities for students.

The structure of the programme

Vocational education and training consists of a basic course and a main course. The basic course is flexible in duration and depends on the individual student’s prior qualifications and ambitions. Typical length of such a basic course is usually between 20 to 25 weeks. This is followed by the main course or VET-programme, which is based on an alternating principle. This typically takes 3-3½ years, but can be shorter or longer for certain programmes (from 1½ and up to 5 years). In order to complete the main course, the student must have a training agreement with an approved company, which offers training. The agreement can cover all or parts of the basic course, but is compulsory for the main course.

Admission to vocational education

There is free admission to the basic VET programme. Most students commence their vocational education with a basic programme at a college, but they can also start directly in a company and take the basic programme after a period of time at the company.

There are 123 vocational education and training programmes (autumn 2007). From August 2008 the basic programmes will be gathered in the following 12 vocational clusters leading to the related vocational programmes.

The students have a guarantee that, if they are admitted through one basic access channel, they will have the opportunity to complete one of the programmes within that channel (educational guarantee), if they make their own contribution to the programme. If a student is unable to obtain a training agreement, the educational guarantee means that they can be offered admission to a school-based practical training (a practical training period conducted by a college) or admission to one of the 3 vocational programmes conducted as school-based education without a practical training period.

Basic programme

Those students, who know which programme they wish to take from the beginning, can take a targeted basic programme with a view to realising their wishes.

Other students who need to try out their skills and interests, can typically take a broader basic programme where they can identify their wishes. Some students need to brush up their knowledge from basic school, while others wish to choose higher levels in the general subjects to be able to continue to higher education afterwards. The students have the option of prolonging the basic programme for up to a total of 40 weeks. Likewise, a basic programme can be shorter for students with prior learning, which can give credits. There is, normally, ongoing intake to the basic programme.

Practical training routes in the New Apprenticeship

Students who prefer practical training to school attendance can commence their vocational education in a company which offers practical training. In the ”New Apprenticeship” the student enters a training agreement with a company and during the first year must acquire the same as the students who have followed the basic programme at a college. This requires flexible adaptation on the part of the student, the company and the college. This option has been introduced to make access easier for students who are more inclined towards learning through practical methods.

About 40% of the students in some of the technical vocational programmes have chosen this route. The share is very small in other vocational education and training programmes.

Main programme

After the basic programme, the students are admitted to the VET main programme, i.e. the student must enter a training agreement with a company. It is in the main programme that the most important part of the practical training takes place.50-70 per cent of the training period takes place in a company and 50-30 per cent during the school-based programme. The students alternate between learning in a company that offers practical training and at the college, according to the principles of a sandwich-type programme, as the school-based periods are organised as blocks of between 5 and 10 weeks.

Individual vocational education and training

Individual vocational education and training programmes can be organised if a VET has not been established within a certain area of employment where a student can procure a training agreement. The VET can be composed of elements from different vocational education and training programmes, but a training agreement must be entered into. This option has until now been only used by a few students.

Steps in the vocational education and training programmes

In nearly all VET programmes, there are one or two steps, in order to increase the flexibility of the programmes. This means that the student can stop at a well-defined step that gives professional competence. The students can resume the VET at a later date, without prolonging the overall duration of education.

Content and educational method of the programmes

The objective of the programmes is described as competencies. All programmes contain at least one area of specialisation composed of specialised subjects. The remainder of the content is built up around the broad professionally oriented subjects and competencies (area subjects) and the fundamental general vocationally oriented subjects (basic subjects) and competencies.

Practical training takes place in both the company and the college, while theoretical teaching primarily occurs at the college. The college is responsible for organising the teaching in a holistic manner, and the colleges have the equipment that enables them to introduce the student to the practical side of the programme. Teaching in the general subjects, for example basic subjects such as mathematics and English, takes its starting point in the specific matters that are part of the student’s education and training programme. For this reason, mathematics teaching will be different for a carpenter and an electrician.

Many students in vocational education and training programmes prefer teaching in practical subjects to theoretical instruction. Therefore, the theory is closely linked with the practical training in order to engage the individual student in the learning process.

Steps in the vocational education and training programmes

In nearly all VET programmes, there are one or two steps, in order to increase the flexibility of the programmes. This means that the student can stop at a well-defined step that gives professional competence. The students can resume the VET at a later date, without prolonging the overall duration of education.

Content and educational method of the programmes

The objective of the programmes is described as competencies. All programmes contain at least one area of specialisation composed of specialised subjects. The remainder of the content is built up around the broad professionally oriented subjects and competencies (area subjects) and the fundamental general vocationally oriented subjects (basic subjects) and competencies.

Practical training takes place in both the company and the college, while theoretical teaching primarily occurs at the college. The college is responsible for organising the teaching in a holistic manner, and the colleges have the equipment that enables them to introduce the student to the practical side of the programme. Teaching in the general subjects, for example basic subjects such as mathematics and English, takes its starting point in the specific matters that are part of the student’s education and training programme. For this reason, mathematics teaching will be different for a carpenter and an electrician.

Many students in vocational education and training programmes prefer teaching in practical subjects to theoretical instruction. Therefore, the theory is closely linked with the practical training in order to engage the individual student in the learning process.


Information for the students

All students must have their competencies assessed in order to receive credit for prior learning. On this basis, the student, the college and, if appropriate, the company offering practical training, draw up a plan for the student’s training. The plan can be adjusted if the student changes his/her educational plans along the way.

The student’s results are entered into the student’s education book (portfolio/log-book), for example the marks the student is awarded and the guidance he/she receives, following each school-based and practical period, enabling the students to see where they need to improve. The personal education plan and education book are drawn up in an electronic system that can continuously register the parts of the programme that the student has completed.

Guidance

The college has a number of educational guidance counsellors who support and guide the students in completing their education and training programmes. At the vocational college, the student is also assigned a ’contact teacher’ who is to contribute to a good educational environment and support the individual student. Students with special needs will receive the support of a mentor. In special cases, they can be offered psychological support.

The college is obliged to actively assist the student to find an internship and also receives a special grant for this work, including a grant for each training agreement entered by the students and registered by the college.

School-based practical training

In 40– 50 percent of the vocational programmes, school-based practical training is offered to students who are unable to obtain an internship within a reasonable time limit (2 months). This is part of the educational guarantee. However, it is imperative that the student, at first, tries himself/ herself to obtain a practical training contract. Furthermore, the student is prepared and ready, both in terms of education and physical condition to embark on a vocational education programme.

School-based practical training is also utilised in situations where a company, which has a student as a practical trainee, is forced to close down. In most cases, the students find another company where they can complete their training, but if this is not the case, then they can be admitted into a school-based practical training.

Trainee wages

Teaching is free of charge for the students, and students in the basic programme who do not have a training agreement can receive grants from the Danish State Education Grant and Loan Schemes if they meet the required criteria. In the vocational education and training programmes, the students are paid wages when they have entered into a training agreement. The wages are between DKK 8,000 and 12,000 a month and are spelt out in the collective agreement. The wages vary between the lines of industry and normally correspond to the student’s average productivity during the year of education in question.

Tests and examinations

The basic programme normally concludes with a project assignment and an oral test. The purpose is to demonstrate that the student has achieved the competencies necessary to start on a VET main programme. The project contains practical and realistic tasks and is assessed by a teacher from another college or a person from a local company etc. If the basic programme is longer than 20 weeks, tests are drawn by lottery in other basic subjects.

In the final part of the programme, the student takes part in a concluding practical and theoretical examination (journeyman’s test), which is meant to assess the skills obtained by the trainee. The external examiners are from companies or the trade committees, who often develop the final tests.

References

Most information above is taken from the website of the Ministry of Education Denmark: http://www.uvm.dk/


Further Documents

UNEVOC Centre(s)



Category:Country



page date 2010-10-04

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